LeBron and the Lakers remain the team to beat in the NBA after a big win Thursday night over the Bucks.
The Los Angeles Lakers won an NBA title back in October and are at the top of the standings so far during the 2020-21 regular season. A Thursday night showdown against the Milwaukee Bucks proved to be a big test for LeBron James and his team.
James passed the test, as he always seems to do, finishing as the game’s leading scorer with 34 points. He knocked down six 3-pointers and went 13-for-25 from the floor. Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 25 points.
LeBron and the Lakers still the team to beat
Antetokounmpo has won two straight MVP awards and signed a massive extension in December to stay with the Bucks for the long-term. That sets him and his squad up as a top challenger in the Eastern Conference to the Lakers.
But this Lakers team is looking just as good as they did when they won the Finals in the Orlando bubble. It is tough to stop them when James scores 34, Anthony Davis adds 18 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope goes 7-for-10 from deep to finish with 23 points.
The Lakers’ lead was down to 102-100 with just over three minutes to play. Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso and James all hit 3s in the next two minutes of play and that was that.
The Lakers improved to 12-4 with the win and remain undefeated on the road. The Bucks are now 9-6 in an Eastern Conference that remains wide open one month into the season.
Thursday marked night one of a seven-game road trip for the Lakers. Their tour of the East is off to a great start, and it will be interesting to see if they falter at all being away from home for so long. Pure talent should prevail as it did against the Bucks.
James has not been named the league MVP since the 2012-13 season. Anyone who has followed his career knows he thought he deserved it last year over Antetokounmpo. But James took home the ultimate prize and has his team poised to do it once again this season.